Empire Magazine Covers Marvel Cinematic Universe

Joss Whedon Says AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Titular Villain Is 'Strange, Funny, And Unexpected'

"I fiercely dislike the idea of just throwing in more people for the sake of doing that," said Avengers: Age of Ultron writer-director Joss Whedon in the latest issue of Empire mag. "But last time I had all of Earth's Mightiest Heroes versus one British character actor, and I needed more conflict. I'm having a blast with Ultron. He's not a creature of logic - he's a robot who's genuinely disturbed. We're finding out what makes him menacing and at the same time endearing and funny and strange and unexpected, and everything a robot never is."

Joss Whedon then went on to discuss how the United Kingdom (where Marvel recently announced Avengers: Age of Ultron will typically  get an earlier release April 24, 2015, ahead of the U.S.) is being utilized for filming of the anticipated Marvel sequel's production. "The number of different looks and textures and moods we're getting from the British locations is stupid awesome," he said. "Because this, palette-wise, is very different. I'm trying to make a different film. Because why would you make one movie twice? That seems weird." What do you think?

The Avengers: Age of Ultron stars Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Cobie Smulders, Jeremy Renner, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, with Paul Bettany, Samuel L. Jackson, and James Spader. The film is set for release on May 1, 2015.

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Talking to Empire Magazine, Marvel Studios President and producer Kevin Feige was asked about recent reports that Thanos will indeed be making a physical appearance in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy, and whether or not he will be a CGI creation as in The Avengers or if they actually have someone in mind to play him. While he wouldn't divulge any details about how the character will be brought to life in the movie, Feige did confirm that the role has ben cast! "There is an actor. I'm not sure we want to announce it yet." Comic-Con? Speaking of which, it was at last year's event in San Diego that Batman Vs. Superman was announced, and it has since been slotted in for release opposite Captain America 3 in 2016. How does the Marvel boss feel about people seeing their decision to not move as a sign of confidence in the franchise? "Well, I'm glad people think that way. We had the flag there first. What other people do and where has always been less of our concern. It's about keeping our head down and doing what we would believe would be cool for an audience to see. I wouldn't say that necessarily." Going back to Guardians of the Galaxy, Feige had this to say about the role of the movie in the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe. "Guardians will feel and seem the most separate. But in a summer where people are going to see a lot of sequels, some of which are ours, and a lot of reboots and familiar faces, we were excited about the idea of bringing something new and totall unexpected to the screen."

Talking to Empire Magazine, Kevin Feige was quizzed on whether a character like the Scarlet Witch in Avengers: Age of Ultron could be used as a way of introducing a mytical side to the Marvel Cinematic Universe ahead of the big screen debut of Doctor Strange. "I would say that the Age of Miracles, as Strucker says at the end of that tag, could be a part of that, but the key to their origin is in that tag." Loki's staff it is then! So, what will the role of "The Twins" be in the movie? Well, as previously reported, they will indeed be clashing with Earth's Mightiest Heroes to begin with! "They're not very happy with The Avengers. Their powers are not insignificant and they're quite different from what the Avengers have faced before."

Talk then turned to the possibility of Paul Bettany playing The Vision, to which Feige responded only with, "Paul Bettany as The Vision? You're confusing me with your mind games." However, the magazine continued to press him for details and asked if the theme of Avengers: Age of Ultron will be fathers and sons as J.A.R.V.I.S. is given his own body. "I wouldn't go that far, in terms of it being that direct a theme. Certainly humanity and humanity's place in our world plays a large part of it, but I think Thor's about fathers and sons, more than this. If one were to confirm anything about Paul Bettany and look at the arc and the line of what Paul has done for us, that's pretty unique and cool and exciting and spins right out of stories we've told in the past." So, should these comments be takes as confirmation that Bettany will indeed be playing the character? "I'm not at this point in time [Laughs]."

Finally, the Marvel Studios President was asked about the Hulkbuster concept art which made its debut during a Marvel special on ABC. What does it mean for Avengers: Age of Ultron? "That little tease was very intentional on our part. We found it a very compelling image to throw out there. The specifics around it we don't have to do for a while. It's a piece of armour we've wanted to see on screen for a long time, let's put it that way. What is the Hulkbuster suit built for?" Interesting stuff! Sound off with your thoughts in the usual place.

Edgar Wright's Ant-Man is a movie which has been a long time coming, especially as it's been in the works before Iron Man blasted onto the big screen in 2008. Now that the Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded to such a great extent, Empire Magazine caught up with Kevin Feige to ask him whether or not the movie has been changed in order to reflect that. "A little bit. Not much. There's been a little bit of connective tissue that wouldn't have been there in in his draft ten years ago," he revealed. "We changed, frankly some of the MCU to accommodate this version of Ant-Man. Knowing what we wanted to do with Edgar and with Ant-Man, going years and years back, helped to dictate what we did with the roster for Avengers the first time. It was a bit of both in terms of his idea for the Ant-Man story influencing the birth of the MCU in the early films leading up to Avengers."

As for why Hank Pym - the original creator of Ultron in the comic books - isn't in Avengers: Age of Ultron, Feige explained: "It was two things - a story Edgar wanted to tell that we'll see with Michael Douglas and Paul Rudd, and now we're 11 films in, it's looking at the characters we've already introduced who already have the technology and the brains to do...certain things [Laughs]." He's obviously alluding to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark there, an equally logical choice for the creator of Ultron in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As for whether Pym is the "original Tony Stark", he added, "He's certainly older. Original Tony Stark? In that he is an inventor and a scientist, but he has a very different demeanour that Tony and a very different ego, even when he was younger."

Finally, talk turned to the decision to cast Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, and Feige dropped a few very interesting hints about the Anchorman star's take on the character. "Look at that origin of the petty crook who comes into contact with a suit and does his best to make good, and then look at someone like Paul Rudd, who can do slightly unsavoury things like break into people's houses and still be charming and who you root for and whose redemption you will find satisfaction in." How do you guys feel about these comments? Be sure to sound off with your thoughts on them in the usual place!

Popular art gallery and online store Mondo is set to unveil the "Mike Mitchell x Marvel x Mondo" comics-themed show featuring artist Mike Mitchell's iconic portraits of Marvel's huge stable of heroes and villains. The gallery is located at 4115 Guadalupe St. in Austin, TX and the show will run from April 25 through May 17.

Empire Magazine also covered Macbeth, Crimson Peak,Sin City,Jurassic World, Dumb and Dumber, World of Warcraft and such if you haven't seen them yet (x)